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Church services prevented by protesters, local Indonesian authorities

Posted on: 2012-11-15 06:40:29
By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Worthy News)-- Muslim protesters prevented a Protestant church from holding Sunday service in Bekasi district, West Java.

The Batak Society Christian Church of Philadelphia canceled service after a Muslim mob stopped them from worshipping.

"They were there an hour or so before we were to start our service," said Reverend Palti Panjaitan.
"They brought loudspeakers and played very loud music. They also threatened us."

Panjaitan said police on the scene told the congregation to cancel the service to forstall any further violence, but by so doing, they violated his congregation's constitutional rights.

In Bogor, local authorities ordered the Yasmin church to move to an undeveloped plot of land five miles from the building they already owned, but church officials said that a government land grant is no guarantee that they could build there because the church would be required to get a new building permit, a problematic process requiring a petition signed by 60 Muslims and 90 Christians.

The church building in Bogor was closed after Mayor Diani Budiarto ordered it sealed up in April 2010, charging that the church lacked the necessary permits despite an Indonesian Supreme Court ruling to the contrary. Since then, the congregation has been holding services in front of the presidential palace in protest.


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